Magento 1 official support has come to an end, so ecommerce websites have had to make changes in order to keep their business ahead of the game.

Magento is an ecommerce platform that is built with open source technology. It provides online businesses with a flexible shopping cart system, control over the look of their online store, and in-depth functionality.

Back in 2014, the Developer Beta of Magento 2 was released and users got their first taste of the updated format.

Since the initial launch of Magento 2, we’ve seen the Developer Release Candidate version come out in March 2015, and since then, Magento 1 and Magento 2 have been running simultaneously.

But now, the deadline for Magento 1 support has passed, and yet there are still many ecommerce websites using it.

Why upgrade to Magento 2?

Choosing to upgrade your website to Magento 2 is not a decision to be rushed.

For a start, this a completely different platform to Magento version 1 – so you can’t simply press an “Upgrade” button, lift your existing Magento 1 theme and drop it onto Magento 2.

Upgrading needs time and effort to get right, so the first step is to familiarise yourself with the new platform. From the outside, Magento 2 can look intimidating to users who are used to Magento 1’s clunky, but familiar, admin back end.

However, if you spend some time with it, you’ll discover that the changes Magento 2 have implemented are far more than simply making the admin more appealing. Magento 2 has changed for the benefit of the users, streamlining the admin process, and making the overall experience far more intuitive.

1) Simplified Directory

To make store management quicker, Magento 2 has reduced the number of root directories from 9 down to 5, which makes finding and organising the numerous files much easier.

For example, the directory ‘pub’ contains all the data available for publicity. Additionally, users will be able to place their Magento application files outside of the web server document root.

2) User Friendly

The admin panel of Magento 2 has a more streamlined navigation interface allowing you to find information much easier than before.

The Magento 2 Dashboard shows the following;

  • Lifetime Sales
  • Average Order
  • Last Orders
  • Last and Top Search Terms
  • Revenue Tax
  • Shipping
  • Quantity
  • Bestsellers
  • Customers

For those looking to migrate their data over, there is a native Data Migration Tool. Using this tool, you can transfer your existing Magento 1 data over to Magento 2.

We also use 3rd party solutions for migrating other platforms, such as Shopify, over to Magento 2 – pop us an email for our recommendations.

3) Trendy Technologies

Magento 2 makes use of some of the best technologies available to make the experience smoother and hassle-free.

  • Uses Varnish caching right out of the box without installing a third party’s module.
  • A Product Creation tool has also been included making new product uploads easier.
  • Link videos to your products within the upload.
  • Prototype has been phased out so you can add additional JavaScript without conflict.

4) New Shopper Experience

Magento is designed to be the platform for online business owners, and so making sure that the overall shopping experience is fast and efficient is a top priority.

With this in mind, Magneto 2 offers the following:

  • Order summary includes product images
  • Simplified registration process during checkout
  • Magento 2 is integrated with PayPal, Braintree, Authorize.net, WorldPay (Enterprise Edition), CyberSource (Enterprise Edition)
  • Guest checkout is allowed, and M2 finds existing registered customers, pulling up their information
  • Modernised security including strengthened hashing algorithms

5) Framework Improvements

A number of the changes made to Magneto 2 have come from business owners and ecommerce users themselves, so there have been quite a few framework improvements:

  1. Compatibility with HHVM and PHP 7
  2. Magento Connect will be moved into Magento Marketplace with the quality of extensions monitored specifically by the Magento team
  3. Most Magento extensions from big extension providers can be transferred to Magento 2 without losing their respective functionalities

(Note: not all of the Magneto extensions can be moved over so you will have to check)

6) Image Compression

In Magento 2 Commerce it automatically minifies JavaScript, CSS and HTML and compresses images to reduce file size for faster loading.

Large volumes of unoptimised images is one of the most common reasons a website loads slowly. High-resolution images can consume lots of bandwidth while loading, and so having them already optimised can really improve load speeds.

The average user will only wait about 3 seconds for a page to load before leaving, so for ecommerce sites, this can be a massive improvement. 

7) Pricing Structure

With Magento 2 the per-licence pricing structure has been removed in favour of revenue-based model instead.

The new structure is based on tiers of gross merchandise volume (GMV) so ecommerce businesses aren’t penalised for spinning up new servers – they pay one fee.

Summary

Magento 2 has gone through a lot of changes over the past few years but the end result definitely seems worth the wait.

Choosing to upgrade your ecommerce business to Magento 2 could be a great move for your business. If you would like some more advice about what it can do for your business, please get in touch today.